£116 million for Shepway

Contributed by editor on Feb 04, 2005 - 11:19 PM


A record £116 million is to be ploughed into public services in Shepway by the county council next year.

This includes £19 million is to go into Shepway capital projects. 

£3.5 million for a new Arts and Business Centre; £1.2 million for vocational centres in the area, and £100,000 for an LEA-assisted nursery.

£1.7 million goes on a new build for services currently provided by Broadmeadow for elderly people in Folkestone. The project will modernise services so they are effectively integrated with health and hospital provision and reflect mainstream adult services strategy to promote partnership and the supporting independence programme.

Total education spending for the area during 2005/6 is £68 million. In addition, the council is putting £25 million into social care services, including looking after the elderly, and a further £23 million into other public services such as highways and transportation and waste management. This includes almost £2 million on road surfacing work - an increase of £517,000.

Cabinet Member for Finance Nick Chard said: "This budget targets money to those areas people have told us are important.

"Kent's government grant increase was the third lowest of all 34 county councils - a 4.9% increase but with the strict direction that more than three-quarters be passported straight to schools. This left just 1.3% increase for all other services. In the light of this, I am delighted to be able to produce a budget which boosts services and will see a number of new initiatives in Shepway.

Chairman of Shepway Local Board Chris Capon said: "This is great news. The county council has achieved the lowest ever council tax rise and at the same time produced a budget that will bring some real benefits to Shepway."